Mississinawa Valley boys basketball team holds off Arcanum’s rally


ARCANUM – The Arcanum Trojans went on a 17-3 run in the fourth quarter, nearly erasing a 16-point Mississinawa Valley lead, but senior Ethan Bowman closed the door on the comeback by scoring the last 7 points in the game to give the Blackhawks a 51-42 Cross County Conference win.

Mississinawa attacked the inside early, jumping out to a 10-2 lead with D.J. Howell doing damage inside scoring 5 points.

Carter Gray was a bit under the weather and coming into the game wasn’t sure he would even be able to play … he would eventually play and knocked down a triple followed by an Andrew Baker jumper closing the gap to 10-7 with 38 second to go in the first quarter.

Mississinawa Valley’s Will Hall then threaded a bounce pass between two defenders to Howell on a backdoor cut for a bucket to finish the first quarter with the Hawks up 12-7.

The Hawks showed patience in the second quarter, running their offense with all five guys scoring 11 team points while holding Arcanum to 6, to take a 23-13 lead at the half.

“In the first half they dominated the paint. Their first four or five shots were right at the rim, and that’s not good for us,” Arcanum boys basketball coach Marcus Bixler said. “You can’t win the game in the first half … but you certainly can lose it.”

Mississinawa used the same formula that was working in the first half and scored 16 in the third quarter with Howell going for 8 points to build the Hawk lead to 16 points, 39-23.

Bowman made a long trey at the six-minute mark for a 42-28 lead and what appeared to be complete control by the Hawks.

The Trojans shifted the next three minutes into total chaos, showing a defensive side they lacked earlier in the game.

Mississinawa Valley turned the ball over on a number of occasions, and Arcanum started to convert on the other end. Gray scored 8 in the quarter and Baker 6, including an and-one, to bring the Trojans within a score in the furious comeback, trailing 42-40 with 3:40 to go.

“I thought it was the first time all night we were able to get some turnovers to generate some offense. We were able to extend them out a little bit and make Bowman give up the ball early in the half court set, and then we really worked hard on trapping and running around trying to create chaos,” Bixler said.

“We weren’t the same team as we were the first three quarters. We turned it over and over and over and lost our composure,” Mississinawa Valley coach Tim Barga said.

Fortunately for Mississinawa the Blackhawks had an ace up their sleeve in Bowman. The senior was the only MV player to score in the final stanza with 12 points and had a game-high 21. He made big plays to shut the door on any Arcanum comeback as the Hawks took the 51-42 victory.

“We made a good run, we knocked down some 3-balls and had some good finishes inside to pull within a bucket and even a chance to go ahead on a 3-ball that didn’t go down and then struggled at the end handling the basketball, but I’m proud of the fight and the will to make a comeback,” Bixler concluded.

Arcanum was led by Gray with 18 points and Baker and Dylan Lumpkin each with 8. The Trojans fell to 5-8 overall and 1-6 in the CCC and will travel to Fort Recovery Saturday.

“We were bringing the ball up to slow on the press and walking it up and let six seconds off the clock before we started to pass it, and then were forced to make either a bad decision or we had nowhere to go with the ball turning it over. We made and adjustment but not before Arcanum made a big run at us,” Barga said.

“Were fortunate to have an ‘X factor’ in Bowman. He does it time and time again. He steps up and makes plays when we need them. He shoots that 23-foot shot out there, which was huge when he knocked it down, and he just finished it up after that,” Barga said.

“We had other kids play a nice game, too. Will Hall made some nice passes, Howell played a great game inside, and Trent Collins played very well,” Barga said.

“I told the boys our goal is to win at least 10 games before the tournament draw, and this is seven so we have to stay sharp and keep working hard,” Barga concluded.

Mississinawa was led by Bowman’s 21 points and Howell with 15. The Blackhawks improved to 7-4 overall and 4-2 in the league. They will play at Randolph Southern, Indiana, on Saturday.

Box score:

Score by quarters

MV … 12 … 11 … 16 … 12 – 51

AR … 07 … 06 … 09 … 20 – 42

Individual scoring

Mississinawa – Ethan Bowman 21, Trent Collins 7, Alex Scholl 6, D.J. Howell 15, Matt Slob 2;

Totals 4-13-13/16 – 51

Arcanum – Dylan Lumpkin 8, Carter Gray 18, Evan Atchley 7, Andrew Baker 8, Lane Burn 1; Totals 6-8-9/10 – 42

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Mississinawa Valley’s D.J. Howell goes up for a shot during a Cross County Conference boys basketball game against Arcanum on Friday in Arcanum.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/web1_DJ-Howell-WEB.jpgMississinawa Valley’s D.J. Howell goes up for a shot during a Cross County Conference boys basketball game against Arcanum on Friday in Arcanum. Dale Barger | For The Daily Advocate

By Dale Barger

For The Daily Advocate

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